American Judges Association


Date of this Version

October 2001


Published in Court Review: The Journal of the American Judges Association, 38:2 (2001), pp. 26-27. Copyright © 2001 National Center for State Courts. Used by permission. Online at


In October 2000, 90 of the 100 appellate and supreme court justices of California were attending their annual appellate institute when Bryan Garner lectured on judicial writing and proposed dropping citations into footnotes. Garner was persuasive and when he announced his “altar call” through a show of hands of judges that were willing to change, I, along with a clear majority of those present, indicated that we were. Yet, a year after that institute only five of us have adopted Garner’s suggestion. I believe I know why.

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